European Solidarity Corps: New opportunities to volunteer or work in solidarity projects

Members of the European Parliament are going to adopt today a new initiative, which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in solidarity projects around Europe. Young people between the ages of 18 and 30 can join the so-called European Solidarity Corps and participate in a wide range of projects, such as helping to prevent natural disasters or rebuild afterwards, assisting in centers for asylum seekers, or addressing different social issues in communities.

Teresa Giménez-Barbat, ALDE shadow rapporteur on this file, comments: “This great initiative will not only promote and facilitate solidarity activity across Europe. It will promote the European idea as such and that is what we need in times of increasing nationalism. Participates can experience working in a community, improve their social as well as language skills and will have the chance to gain work experience. This is a win-win situation for everybody.”

Whereas the major part of the Corps focusses on volunteering, 10% of the budget will also be dedicated to traineeships and jobs placements in the field of solidarity and will therefore help to reduce unemployment among young people.

Overall, the European Solidarity Corps has a budget of €375.6 million until 2020. The largest contributor to the funding will be the current European Voluntary Service (EVS) of the Erasmus+-program, given that its activities will also be transferred to the European Solidarity Corps. Nevertheless, Giménez-Barbat stresses that the fight for a substantial increase in funding of Erasmus+ is far from over: “It is wonderful to see that youth programs like Erasmus+ are becoming increasingly popular. But at the same time, all high quality projects in the participating countries need sufficient support. That is why we are still demanding to triple the current funds of Erasmus+. We have to make sure this success story of the EU can continue.”

You can find more information about the ESC and the application process here: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en

More info: birte.grages@europarl.europa.eu

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